And so we must face the refiner’s fire, but we can face it in confidence, secure in the knowledge that our Lord will use it to refine and purify us. Confident that in the facing, we are being transformed into an ever more faithful reproduction of Him. I mentioned a moment ago that this was also the word used of Seth in Genesis 5.
And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. Genesis 5:3
I am reminded of the Words of John:
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:1–3
Wow! I wonder if John was thinking of Genesis one when he wrote that? I bet the Holy Spirit reminded him if he wasn’t. I can’t think of anything to add. Look at the wonderful promises in those few short verses:
- We are children of God!
- We shall be like Him. How cool is that?
- We shall see Him as He is. No more “No one can look at My Face and live” for us. No seeing through the glass (mirror) darkly.
- We will be transformed in the beholding, making ourselves pure as He is pure.
- At last we will be restored to that place of faithfully reflecting the nature and beauty of our Lord!
In the meantime though, we … well ok, we don’t exactly look forward to the refiners fire. At least I don’t, fire HURTS! Refinement is not comfortable, but uncomfortable, sometime excruciatingly so. But we can know that as we are discomforted, we are also being transformed by our loving Father until we are conformed into His image, and in that sense we can face His loving discipline with confidence and joy in what is to come.
So we complete our journey, we see Joseph ruling faithfully, with wisdom and grace, the second most powerful man in his day. We see David, king and priest, peering into the future to provide us with a type and shadow for the believer. We see him as the one out of all who came before, or since, that God called a man after His own heart, again showing us the way. We see Esther interceding on the behalf of her people, finding favor with the King and literally becoming co-regent with him. We see Jesus coming up out of the wilderness leaning on the arm of His Beloved – leaning on the arm of the Father. Stepping forth from His wilderness experience in an unprecedented level of power and authority, to turn the world upon its head. He could do the miracles He did because He had learned to be utterly dependent upon the Father, to lean on Him. In His own words:
Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. John 5:19
That then is the reason and the promise to us. We will face trials, but we can know that the trials we face are to cleanse and purify us, to teach us to look to and lean upon our Beloved. We can face our wilderness trials because we know that our Loving Father is looking over us, and He will send us our Beloved to complete the work, and that we will emerge from the wilderness leaning on the arm of our Beloved having learned to lean upon and trust Him in all things. Then as He did 2000 years ago, we will go forth and turn the world once again its head, doing the “greater things” He promised we would do. Then we will understand and walk fully in the words of John:
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:17
Oh, one last thought that occurred to me as I was writing this. The City of God, which is called The Bride of Christ, is described in Rev 21 as being made of pure gold with foundations adorned in precious jewels. I’m going to have to contemplate that for a bit, and I hope you will as well. So I will end this with one word, Selah!